Playing, watching, and fantasizing about sports are now defining features of our culture. Are we just enjoying more leisure time together, or have sports become an unhealthy obsession?
"If sports have become the playthings of irresponsible corporations, and being a fan often turns into a hollow, pseudo-religious semblance of true belonging,"Eric Miller observes, "there yet remains the undeniable beauty of the sports themselves and the creatures of God who find themselves so irresistibly drawn to them."Michael Kerrigan, C.S.P., urges us "to see sports as the new field for twenty-first century Christian mission."
We have built a generation of "stadiums on steroids" to fund the runaway economics of professional baseball, Philip Bess notes. Can we return to building neighborhood ballparks, from the big leagues to Little League, which are centers of community life?
Jordan Cox describes congregation-based sports, recreation, and leisure programs in which "participants mature as disciples as they learn to live out their faith through sports competition on the field, court, gymnastics mat, or in the swimming pool."
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to articulate a Christian perspective on sports in modern culture. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.